Friars and Huskies square off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7.
Diane Madl became the program's sixth head coach all-time on February 4, 2002 and will embark on her 13th season with the Friars in 2014. Madl and her staff have enjoyed some of the most successful seasons in program history. Providence College has been selected to host the 2014 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship at Lennon Family Field in Providence, R.I. Madl and her experienced team are anxious for the opportunity to compete on their home field for the title.
Providence has qualified for the four-team BIG EAST Championship in five of the last eight seasons under Madl's guidance. The Friars captured the BIG EAST Conference regular-season title in 2006 and advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament twice (2006, 2007).
During Madl's first three seasons on the sidelines, the team still played on a grass surface. During that initial stretch, the team posted a 26-33 record, while attempting to change the culture of the program under its new leadership. In 2005, Providence field hockey started a new era with the opening of the Friar Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex, which has recently been renamed Lennon Family Field. The complex is a state-of-the-art Astroturf facility that has helped to springboard the program back on to the national scene.
The Friars' run of success began in 2006 in what is described as one of the most celebrated seasons in program history. The Friars posted an 18-4 overall record and captured the BIG EAST Conference Regular-Season title. Providence's 18 victories in 2006 are tied for second most all-time in program history, while the Friars' five league victories mark a program best. The program quickly found itself among the nation's best and was ranked in the NFHCA Division I National Coaches' Poll for nine-consecutive weeks, including seven-straight weeks in the top-15. At season's end, the Friars earned a final ranking of 11th. Madl was honored as the BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year, Dita/NFHCA Division I Northeast Region Coach of the Year and Words Unlimited Coach of the Year.
That same year, Lauren Sickel and Rachel Chamberlain became the first Friars since 1997 to claim All-America honors, as both players were named to the third team. Chamberlain was tabbed BIG EAST Conference Goalkeeper of the Year and was one of five players to earn All-BIG EAST honors and NFHCA All-Region honors.
The ride continued in 2007, as PC posted a 14-8 overall record, including a 4-2 mark in the BIG EAST. The Friars advanced to the BIG EAST Championship game for the second-straight year, after defeating No. 11 Louisville, 2-0, in the semifinals. The Friars dropped a, 1-0, decision to No. 4 Connecticut in the championship game the next day.
In 2008, the Friars advanced to the BIG EAST Tournament for the third-straight season after posting a 12-9 overall record (3-3 BIG EAST). Four Friars earned All-BIG EAST and/or NFHCA All-Northeast Region accolades at season's end. Nellie Poulin became the ninth Friar in program history, and third player under the direction of Madl, to earn All-America honors as a member of the Third Team. Poulin went on to represent New England for the second-straight season at the U.S. Field Hockey High Performance Women's National Championship (2009), and finished as the tournament's top scorer with five goals in six games. Jaime Lipski joined Poulin on the New England team in 2009 and earned herself an invitation to U.S. Junior National Camp. Lipski is the first player to earn a Junior National Camp invitation under Madl's tutelage.
The 2009 season featured one of the most challenging schedules in the nation and the team finished the year with a 10-10 overall record (3-3 BIG EAST). Of the Friars 10 losses, eight were decided by one goal, including five, one-goal losses to opponents ranked in the top-10 of the national poll. Providence made its fourth-straight appearance at the BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship, but fell to then-No. 5 Syracuse, 2-1, in the semifinals. The Friars concluded the season ranked 23rd in the NCAA RPI and were ranked as high as No. 19 in the NFHCA National Coaches' Poll. Poulin earned All-America honors for the second-straight season as a member of the NFHCA Second-Team, and became one of just four players in program history to earn All-America honors multiple times.
The Friars had two uncharacteristic seasons in 2010 and 2011, during which the team posted a 5-13 mark in 2010 and a 4-14 record in 2011. Three Friars earned All-BIG EAST honors during the two-year stretch, including current Friar junior Henni Tietze (Sankt Augustin, Germany), who was honored on the Second Team in 2011.
In 2012, the Friars recorded a 9-9 mark and finished tied for third in the BIG EAST Conference with a 3-3 record. Seven of the Friars' nine losses came at the hands of nationally-ranked opponents. Four of those matches were decided by one goal, including three in overtime. Henni Tietze was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team and Caitlin Malone earned Second Team recognition. Tietze and Malone also were named to the NFHCA All-Northeast Region Second Team.
The 2013 season featured seven games vs. teams ranked in the NFHCA Division I National Coaches' Poll. The campaign started with a 2-1 overtime victory over 11th-ranked Northwestern, but the Friars lost seven of their next 11 games. Five of their opponents during the stretch were nationally-ranked, while the remaining two losses came vs. teams who finished the 2014 season in the national poll. The Friars completed the season with an 8-10 overall record. Five of the program's 10 losses were decided by one goal, including four in overtime. Caitlin Malone earned All-BIG EAST First-Team honors, while Tietze and Daniella Bernasconi were selected to the Second Team. Bernasconi and Malone represented Providence on the NFHCA All-Northeast Region Second Team.
During Madl's 12 seasons on the sidelines, she has helped to mentor three players, who earned All-America honors a total of four times. She also has helped to develop a total of 34 All-BIG EAST selections and 31 All-Northeast Region honorees. More importantly, her teams have competed just as fiercely in the classroom. Madl has had the privilege of coaching 30 student-athletes who have earned NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad honors a total of 63 times, and 61 players who have been named to the BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team a total of 136 times.
Madl, a native of Mountaintop, Pa., was a three-sport stand-out in field hockey, basketball and softball at Crestwood High School. Upon completion of her high school career, she went on to play field hockey at UConn from 1985-88. While at UConn, she helped the Huskies capture the National Championship in 1985. She was a two-time All-America selection (1987, 1988) and earned the Honda Broderick Award upon the completion of her career, as the top collegiate field hockey player in the nation. Madl also earned Academic All-America honors and graduated magna cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1989.
Madl went on to play for the U.S. National Team and competed in a multitude of events for Team USA, including the World University Games (1989), World Cup (1990), Inter-Continental Cup (1989 and 1995) and the Champions Trophy (1995). She reached the pinnacle of her playing career in 1996 as a member of the U.S. National Team that competed in the Olympic Games, held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Madl remains active with Futures, having coached the U-19 team in the USA/Canadian Challenge Cup (2005) and assisted the U-16 team that participated in the U.S. Olympic Development Select/Futures Elite International Easter Tournament in the Netherlands (2007). Madl also has served as an assistant coach for USA Field Hockey High Performance Women's National Championship New England Team (2006-2008), and assisted the team at the New England Training Center in 2009 prior to the Women's National Championship. In 2010 and 2011, Madl continued her involvement with HPTC as an assistant at the training center for Boston's Senior Team, under the new format for the Women's National Championship. She returned to the sidelines as an assistant for New England at the Women's National Championship in 2012.
Madl earned her U.S. Field Hockey Level III Coaching Accreditation in 2009, which is the highest coaching accreditation in the U.S. system. With the accreditation, Madl is eligible to work with the U.S. National Team programs.
Madl's coaching career began at the University of Maine as an assistant in 1993. She remained with the Black Bear program for nine seasons.
In addition to her success at Providence and her activity within the circles of U.S. Field Hockey, Madl has taken ownership of Circle to Circle Field Hockey Camps, LLC., which came to fruition in 2005.
Madl was inducted into the Luzerne County (Pa.) Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005, and was inducted into the Pennsylvania State Athletic Hall of Fame on May 18, 2008. She is the daughter of Ruth Ann and David Madl.